Ms. Manduli, who often referred to herself as the “lioness in her cage”, died on Wednesday.
In an earlier interview with the Nation , Ms. Manduli spoke about her achievements, but refused to reveal her date of birth.
“I was born in Maseno. Don’t ask when. Ladies don’t tell, just like they don’t tell us where you’ve been when you get home in the middle of the night. I was born to two teachers. My father was the headmaster, later city councilor Gordon Rogo, and his beautiful wife Zeruia Adhiambo, who later trained and specialized in home economics and taught at Kisumu Technical College. “
The former chairman of the National Council of Non-Governmental Organizations attended Ng’iya Girls’ High School, then went to Butere Girls and then Machakos Girls before moving to Machakos Teachers College.
” But I never taught, “she told the Nation .
” I went there because my parents thought “It would give me the discipline I needed in life. I got married right away and went to Canada, where I got a degree in office management.”
She later got her first job at Kenya Railways and Harbors Corporation as a personal assistant tin by PJ Mwangola, the then General Manager.
“In 1973 he looked at me and said, ‘Orie, you are very ambitious, where are you going?’ The stars, I said. “
In 1974 Ms. Manduli was employed by the Coffee Board of Kenya as head of administration.
” I was the first woman in Kenya to hold such a post. In 1975 I got a bigger job as a marketing and PR manager at Metal Box, responsible for Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. Again, I was the first woman to have such a job. At the end of the year I bought a large farm. I was fascinated by the country, ”she said.
She revealed that she worked for the Kenya Broadcasting Cooperation in the evenings and was interested in motor vehicle rallies and eventually became the first Kenyan rally driver.
“I had two shows on Mambo Leo and Women’s World – one weekly. Because of my show, I interviewed rally drivers. Then these foreign drivers came along, and then I said to myself, why don’t Kenyans run too? I felt so bad There were a number of Kenyan men who attended, but not a single woman.
“I was told that no Kenyan woman would think about it, let alone try it So forget it, Orie. And I said here I am, I wanna do it And I did it in 1974 with Sylvia Omino, Joab’s wife. The safari was hectic, it was beautiful, the most exciting thing I’ve ever done in my life. I was the driver, I am always the driver. I’m just always the driver in every situation. We didn’t make it, but made it two stages, ”she told the Nation .